Non-traditional volunteering for seniors with limited mobility and time
After Paula N. lost her husband to cancer, her life spiraled into depression. Health problems developed to compound her feelings of isolation, sadness and loss of purpose.
Learning a neighborhood food pantry needed help, she joined the volunteer ranks. Using her past work experience and skills as a native Spanish speaker, she became a valued volunteer. She regularly trains new volunteers.
Paula says she really enjoys the connections to her fellow volunteers. Serving others gives her a sense of purpose, improves her connection her community and motivates her to be healthier.
Volunteer Appreciation Week
April 7-11 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week. Giving time makes a difference in the quality of life, outcomes and betterment of neighborhoods.
According to the AARP, just one year of service increases senior health benefits.
Where do I begin?
Some seniors choose to begin small and volunteer a few hours a week or a up to 30 minutes a week and some can volunteer from home.
Small contributions make big impacts
Points of Light, a national non-profit says that participants can opt in for non-traditional volunteer opportunities. Microvolunteering is a scalable lifestyle activity and volunteers choose project starts and location.
Seniors with work-related or other limitations may be able to make contributions on their own terms. Such opportunities include writing cards to veterans, assembling kits for those in need, tele-mentoring students, translating for non-profits or providing services in their career profession. To learn more about senior volunteer opportunities and microvolunteering visit www.pointsoflight.org.
Written by Alice Warner
April 2, 2019